As I write this, EFS-Web and EFS-Web Contingency have both been down for several days due to a PALM outage (https://www.uspto.gov/blog/ebiz/). Would the Office please consider opening a Dropbox* account that would accept ZIP uploads of submissions during outages? We could prepare PDFs for EFS-Web as usual, but then ZIP and upload them via a non-USPTO service with confidentiality guarantees. That way no single point of failure at the Office would prevent electronic filing.
If the Dropbox account belonged to the Office, individuals could upload without accessing others' files. This would maintain confidentiality. Moreover, uploads are timestamped to provide the date information required for filings. See, e.g., https://www.dropbox.com/help/files-folders/create-file-request - the Office could post the upload URL on its Web site during outages.
I understand the Office would have to spend time after the outage to transfer the documents from Dropbox to EFS-Web. I suspect that effort would be less time-consuming than the work currently required to process paper filings made during outages.
Thank you for considering this request!
* or Google Drive, Workshare, &c.
(All opinions are my own and not necessarily those of my employer, any client, or any other party.)